Living with Integrity

I am not a golf fan. In fact, I have never played or watched a tournament. Today, however, it is golf that inspired me to write this post. I’m sure by now you have heard about Brian Davis. If not let me tell you about what he did last weekend during a PGA tournament.

It was the 18th hole and Davis was in a hazard just off the green. Upon making his swing he thought he saw something out of the corner of his eye. He called the officials over and, after reviewing the replay, it was determined that his club had grazed a reed. The result was a 2-stroke penalty, which would cost Brian Davis the tournament. By the way, had he proceeded without calling himself out it would have been his first ever PGA tournament win. Instead, Davis chose to do the right thing and play the game with integrity.

Integrity, according to Dictionary.com, is defined like this.

1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.

3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship’s hull.

My preferred definition of integrity is this: Doing the right things, even when no one is looking. I think that more accurately describes someone who lives with integrity. To many this concept is foreign. After all, if no one is going to know why would I bother doing the right thing? The problem with this is that you can’t be sure no one is looking. Just like in the case with Brian Davis. I doubt anyone would have reviewed the replay. No one would have known the club hit the reed. But, Davis knew. There was something inside him that said “this isn’t right”, and it led him to make the right choice, knowing it would cost him the win.

I think Brian Davis is an inspiration to us all. At a time when the sport of golf has been marred by the Tiger Woods sex scandal Davis brought integrity back to the game. We should all follow in his example of doing what is right. It is so refreshing to see a professional athlete in the public eye displaying integrity as Davis has done. We need more of that. Kids look up to athletes, whether we want them to or not. I hope Brian Davis’ example rubs off on others and we start seeing more of this. So, hats off to Brian Davis. I may not be a golf fan, but because of his choice on the 18th hole I am inspired and will be following what he does in the future.

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